Malta has become a hub for the remote gaming community, in fact, it constitutes the most dynamic and fastest growing sector of Malta’s entire gaming industry. And with good reason. While steeped in heritage, Malta has become a modern country with a good economic track record, open economy, low inflation and stable currency. The climate and lifestyle make it an excellent place to work and live, for a relatively lower cost than other EU countries.
Setting up your gaming company
When considering setting up your remote gaming company in Malta, there are a number of stages you will need to be aware of. The application process can be quite rigorous but is generally fairly efficient – if you are thoroughly prepared you could look to be operating within 6 weeks.
After that you can get started with all the details, such as choosing a platform, creating a poker odds calculator, and so on.
The application process
First and foremost you need to be a company registered in Malta and, to obtain your remote gaming license, you will need to have the core of your business based in Malta. This means that peripheral services such as customer support functions or front end games could be based outside of Malta in any destination of the company’s choice.To obtain your license you will need to submit an application form (available from the LGA) along with your business plan, personal declaration for all shareholders, passport/ID, original birth certificate and original copy of your police conduct report gained on registration in Malta. An LGA Control Officer for Remote Gaming will then thoroughly review your case. This involves investigation into all parties involved in financing and managing the business and the overall financial viability of your operation.Normally this stage will take about 2 weeks.
Having cleared the above checks, you will receive a letter of first stage approval. The LGA will then go on to check your ability to carry out the operation by assessing the following: the games, business process for conducting remote games, the rules and regulations of games offered, terms and conditions, your system architecture of the gaming and control panels, agreements with third parties and so on. You will need to provide all of this information to your LGA Control Officer.If all submitted information is correct and present, this stage should take approximately 3 weeks.
Assuming you pass the above investigation you will be granted a provisional license to operate remote gaming with the intent of obtaining a certification of compliance within three months. In this period you will be expected to establish your business in Malta according to your business plan. Testing of your set-up, processes, systems and completion of third party agreements should all be concluded in order to gain approval from the LGA compliance certification entity. You will then be granted a full license.After the 3 month trial period, compliance approval should take about 1 week.
The application process will require fees to be paid at varying stages. This will include a non-refundable application fee which will be submitted with the initial application as well as an annual fee which is to be paid within 15 days after your license is granted. This will then be paid annually thereafter. Licenses are generally granted on a 5 year basis and will need to be renewed after this period.Other costs will include the company fee of the company engaged by the applicant plus all set up costs involved in establishing your business in Malta.Corporate tax and gaming tax will also be paid monthly and the gaming tax will be relevant to the licensing class you are in.
There are four classifications of remote gaming operators – your license will be granted in the class representing your business make-up.
- Class 1: Risk-taking on repetitive games generated by random events e.g. skill games, online lotteries
- Class 2: Risk-taking by creating a market and backing that market e.g. fixed odds, spread betting
- Class 3: Promoting and/or abetting gaming in Malta e.g. betting exchange
- Class 4: Providing a Remote Gaming System to another Licensee e.g. software vendors
Once you are fully licensed, what you do with your business is up to you as long as it conforms to the LGA’s rules and regulations of responsible gaming practice. Malta provides a highly sociable network of like-minded, entrepreneurial people with an innate passion for the gaming industry. With countless forums and events hosted by many of the companies based there, sharing business knowledge is easy and fun.